Brady Benton’s Rating System
A simple system with plays rated from in 5 Dime increments up to 100 Dimes. The maximum rating is called a 100 Dime “play”. This does not represent a specific dollar amount, just the highest rated selection I release. The minimum rating is called a 5 dime “play”. This does not represent a specific dollar amount, just the lowest rated selection I release. I like to keep it simple from a money-management system so my customers can always know exactly how they should be allocating their bankroll in proportion to the rating I assign to a selection. Obviously, a 50 Dime play is five times stronger than a 10 Dime release and twice as strong as a 25 Dime pick. I don't believe in playing too many games a day, either. The key is being selective, finding a few key games and playing them accordingly. On the busiest of days, if you find me with three to five selections, that would be the maximum. And on some days, no matter the size of the card, if there's one game I'm going to hit hard, that's the only game I'm releasing. Knowledge, discipline, self-control, and money management. You might not have them, but after 15+ years I do and those are just a few of my keys to success. So understand this:
1) I will not press.
2) I will not force a play.
3) I will not chase.
Always remember this: You will only get the selections I'm personally playing, and win or lose; you'll always find the results posted on this page the following day.
What is Sports Investing?
Sports’ investing is a coined term used to describe a methodical, disciplined and long-term approach to sports wagering. The purpose (as with any form of investing) is to maximize profits while diversifying risk and minimizing losses. The general public often perceives “sports betting” as being too risky or speculative and does not associate it with other mainstream investment mediums. The “gambling” element is enough to drive the uneducated individual away. Yet, the same person will gamble (i.e. take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome) on a particular company’s stock price without knowing a) the company’s financial situation or b) its business model. Regardless, numerous people every year dabble in sports wagering (whether it be on the Super Bowl or during a trip to Las Vegas) with little to no expectation of “winning”. These individuals view sports wagering as a form of entertainment not as an investment opportunity. More serious sports bettors are those who enjoy wagering on a regular basis and have a more complete understanding of sports wagering methods and options (e.g. point spreads, totals, money lines, etc.). None-the-less, the most serious sports bettors seldom view sports wagering as an investment…and, therefore do not take a realistic approach to the risk associated. These individuals often fall into the trap of gambling recklessly either for the “action” or because they are chasing losses…and in most cases, both.
Sports’ investing is the process by which we analyze (e.g. handicap) each available investment opportunity on a DAILY basis. The goal is to uncover favorable investment options. These are situations in which value can be achieved by taking one potential outcome over another. The basic goal of the odds maker is to put forth a “line” that generates equal action on both sides. However, they are very keen to public perception; therefore, lines generally lean (i.e. shade) towards the public’s favored team (or total) thus presenting value for the other side…although, this is not true in every case. However, the point is that in order to invest in sports correctly we must analyze each situation to determine favorable and/or unfavorable opportunities…so that we are always investing in the most valuable situations. Most sports bettors do not take the time to properly research or prepare for their wagers and ultimately succumb to random chance.
Sports investing involve many variables but can be summarized with the following three principles: 1) money management, 2) dedicated research and 3) a long-term approach. Money management is the key to riding out losing streaks and developing a realistic, monetary approach. Understanding that a certain percentages of your selections will be winners and the other losers helps reduce the natural tendency to chase losses. Dedicated research and a keen understanding of situational match-ups will give us the confidence to invest in the right situations. This does not mean we will be successful in ALL cases, but it does help us weigh and understand the probabilities of a predicted outcome…remember there is no such thing as a “lock”. Keeping a long-term approach fosters consistency and affords us the opportunity to maximize our profits while minimizing our losses through effective diversification.
Keep in mind that sports’ investing is inherently risky and daily volatility plays a huge role in the predicted outcome of a single event. Partnering with a firm such as New Era Sports Handicapping (NESH) can help the long-term investor maintain a realistic and effective approach to sports investing. Through (NESH) dedicated research and consistency, our clients can be confident that the investment selections they receive will present the best value for any given day. This ultimately diversifies our client’s risk while providing the opportunity to grow their profits over the long-term.
After handicapping, the most important (and probably most overlooked) element to sports investing is money management. The "Million Dollar" question: "How do we maximize our gains and minimize our losses?" Winning 100% of ALL of our plays ALL of the time is one way. Well that's not going to happen. Having established that obvious fact, we need to focus on developing a more realistic approach to investing. After all, the goal is to turn a profit while knowing and accepting that a certain percentage of your plays will be winners and the others losers. What should be our targeted win percentage? 50%, 55%, 60%, or higher? For starters, this depends on the sport and the type of investment...money lines or spreads. Most amateurs to sports investing are unimpressed when professional handicappers report successful ATS win percentages in the mid to upper 50% range. Reality Check #1: Long-term win percentages do not live in the 65% plus range. Therefore, we must understand the law of probabilities and focus our attention on managing our investment capital (IC) correctly. Successful professional sports investors do both items well: consistent handicapping and managing their IC.
Money Management Theories in Focus
There are as many money management articles, "how to manuals" and theories to this subject as there are sportsbooks in Vegas and off shore sportsbooks in the Caribbean combined, probably more. Our goal for this article is to help you simplify the process and get you thinking about your own personal situation. Do a search on the subject of sports investing and you will find a high majority of these articles suggest that "flat betting" (using the same amount for every investment) is the way to go. While there are positives to this system...namely the fact that you do not allow emotions to dictate your per investment stake (e.g. chasing losses during losing streaks).... it ALSO means you are exposing more of your IC (by percentage) during those same losing streaks. Conversely, it means you are exposing less (by percentage of your IC) during winning streaks. Conceptually, "flat betting" does help you manage your money; however, it does not help us maximize our profits and minimize our losses for the reasons stated. Next, and almost as popular as the "flat betting" model, is the Kelly Criterion and the many variations of its general principles. At its core, the Kelly "formula" is used by investors to determine the precise percentage of IC that should be allocated to each investment so that long-term profits are maximized. In this scenario, the investment percentage is based off of expected win probabilities. Therein lies the problem. Most investors and handicappers do a poor job of determining their expected win ratio for each investment. There is always a certain amount of "luck" or randomness in sports investing, which can adversely alter your expected returns. The Kelly "formula" states that as your expected win ratio increases so does the amount of your investment, exponentially. If you over estimate your expected win percentage you would be exposing more of your IC than should reasonably be risked. In theory, volatility is not taken into account. Volatility is the amount of uncertainty and risk in the predicted outcome of any one sports investment selection. Again, the ultimate goal to long-term investing is to reduce your exposure to situations that would increase your chance at losses. Wildly increasing your invested amount due to expected probabilities can help maximize profits but at the cost of exposing much more of your IC than necessary.
New Era Sports Handicapping’s Approach to Money Management
Reality Check #2: No money management system is perfect. NESH's approach is intended to help you diversify your sports investment portfolio effectively. Money management systems do not help us pick winners, but they do attempt to reduce volatility and grow consistent profits over the long-term. You will notice from our records that we deal in volume (for the purpose of diversification)...a higher number of daily selections compared to most other firms. The commonly used term for this methodology is the "Wal-Mart Approach"...volume investing with the intent to take relatively smaller daily profits with the purpose of growing CONSISTENT returns over the long term. Those who are extremely selective in their picks must maintain a higher win percentage to make the same profit of someone who is investing in greater volumes. It is our opinion that to truly invest correctly a higher volume must be maintained to offset the uncertainty and risk unknown to any one predicted outcome. While we ARE concerned with maintaining successful win percentages, we also understand that profits are the ULTIMATE measurement of success. Besides, win percentages can be an extremely poor measurement of success in money line sports (i.e. MLB and NHL) where as an investor you should be taking a relatively higher percentage of underdogs to maximize profits thus sacrificing overall win percentages.
The ultimate question then becomes, "How much to invest per selection?” New Era Sports Hanicapping believes that an investor should invest a small percentage of their overall IC on each selection. As opposed to the "flat betting" model, the investor's per investment amount is automatically adjusted by the daily fluctuation in the total value of their IC. Hence, we are investing more per selection during upswings and less during downswings. The percentage invested should be a set amount as determined by the confidence level assigned to each play (i.e. NESH's dime-rating scale). We should not merely assume our win probabilities and exponentially raise our investment amounts accordingly without considering the overall IC available (as in the Kelly "formula"). As discussed, we cannot predict for the volatility on a per investment basis, which is why we are investing in higher volumes. However, through our detailed analysis and handicapping of each viable investment opportunity, we can reasonably assess which plays are slightly better investments than others. To account for these situations, we will assign a higher value (i.e. dime-rating) to the selection. While increasing your percentage (based on NESH's scale) appears to expose unnecessary risk, keep in mind that as a part of our daily volume other lesser rated plays will be made to hedge that day's perceived risk and unknown volatility. Any money management system requires discipline. As an investor, it is prudent to do an assessment of your goals and measure your results on a routine basis. Final Comment Reality Check #3: Thoughtful money management does not ensure that you are always making your expected return, but it will assist in limiting your exposure to losses and maximize your potential for consistent profits through long-term, effective diversification.
What type of “system” or methodology do you use when making sports investment decisions?
New Era Sports Handicapping does not rely on any one particular “system” when making sports investment decisions. We feel in order to make consistent selections (over the long-term) a multi-faceted approach to handicapping is necessary. In almost all cases, this involves a balanced mixture of analyzing data from a technical perspective and utilizing our keen understanding of situational match-ups. Our “in-house” research tools and proprietary platforms allow us to set our own lines and compare them against the Vegas number for any sport. The in-depth level of research and man-hours NESH spends dissecting each sport (and the teams within that sport) insures that we have the most current information and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions on a daily basis. However, the process does not stop here. As mentioned, we analyze EVERY money line, spread and total the odds makers set for EVERY major sport (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL NCAAF and NCAAB). Simply knowing the “ins and outs” of each team and sport is not enough. We also need to understand the odds maker’s reason and purpose for the line that is released and any subsequent moves made thereafter. When these procedures are performed on a regular basis it becomes relatively “easier” (again, over the long-term) to beat the spread on a consistent basis. NESH’s discipline and handicapping acumen allows us to determine where line and/or side value exists; thereby, assisting our clients in making the most appropriate and informed sports investment decisions possible.